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Heyyo people! 🙂 Please don’t kill me for being this late! Also, this episode is a kind of recap from Mahi’s point of view. So please bear with me and do let me know your thoughts on this. Now, without much ado, let’s begin.
Link to the prologue: Prologue
FIND ME: EPISODE 1
Why was all of this becoming so twisted up? I had clearly told her not to hurt Shivaay, but she had ignored my words as usual. “Don’t argue with me Mahi. Why is it bothering you? I’m warning you right now, don’t mess with my plans. Do you get it?” she had pushed me away when I had objected. I had quieted her down so that no one could find us scheming together, but I had never agreed to it. So she had taken it upon herself to get Shivaay out of her way, but failed miserably when Anika thwarted her designs. I wasn’t too shocked with the turn of events, but I was still awed by Mr. and Mrs. Kanji Aankh’s fearless love. But the question that was running through my head right now was for someone else entirely.
At first, I didn’t even know there was a person who had the same face as me but was living a completely different life. Then there was a time when having the same face as Shivaay Singh Oberoi was the worst thing that had happened to me, given the dramatic differences between our circumstances. Then I made it into an opportunity with some help from Mother and Ranveer. But now, this duplicate face was becoming a curse again as courtesy of my ambitious mother, there were a dozen people out on a hunt for me! I was practically on a non-house arrest with no escape from Mother’s constant accusations and scolding. Only for a minute though, I thought of the one person that distracted me enough to calm me down, “What is she doing now? Did she eat?”
“Mausi, I think we need to lie low for now. They won’t let it go so easily right now, but after some time, I’m sure we’ll stand a better chance”, Ranveer’s voice snapped me out of my daydreams. Leaning closer to the mobile on speaker, I asked, “Bhai, how long do you have to stay in there?”
Thanks to the corrupt police system, Ranveer had managed to get a phone for calling even inside the lock-up. Everyone knew his arrest was just for the sake of the Oberois, but he would be released in a day or two for lack of evidence or something lame like that; that is unless they pull out another trick. But I still worried for him and got another dose of scolding from Mother in return, “Do you even need to ask Mahi? The poor thing! He must be having such a hard time, and all because of your cowardice. Now I think it would have gone better if we had left you out of it. Except for this face of yours, there’s nothing else that helped us with this!”
Ouch! That hurt. I hung my head and waited for them to finish their conversation. As I listened to them, another plan started sketching itself in my head. Something that would let me have what I want and keep everyone safe too. A ghost of a smile crossed my features for once as I held myself back from sharing it with the other two. Maybe, there’s hope for me after all!
TWO DAYS LATER
Fury shook me as I burst into the room to confirm my worst fears. “Was it you?” I shouted in anger at Mother for the first time in my life. Unfortunately she couldn’t see my heart and didn’t register the difference in my tone, continuing with her irritated rant on my existence. It still hurt as usual but I cut her short and yelled, “Not him! I definitely warned you, do not hurt him! Why did you do this, Mother?” Without waiting for a reply, I ran out, praying for the first time in ages for someone else.
I reached just in time to see Shivaay tied to a chair and surrounded by a dozen of goons. Fists flew, kicks landed and after a trying round of getting bashed up, the goons ran for dear life and left me alone with my doppelganger. Crouching beside his limp body, I touched his arm and shook him lightly, fearing the worst already. “Shivaay, can you hear me?” Some of my blood had fallen on his cheek, staining his perfection with my impure red. I didn’t like that, so I took the cloth tied around my head and cleaned it up, combing his hair with my fingers and trying to make him look like my perception of the perfect Shivaay Singh Oberoi.
When I had watched his face to my fullest, comparing it with my shabby appearance and etching each detail of dissimilarity in my mind, I called Rudra from his phone and asked him to pick me up.
Hiding behind a forlorn jeep, I saw the Pahalwan lift him up and put him in the car with so much care. At least my decision of calling the Pahalwan was correct, I commended myself. The long haired guy didn’t look weak either, but I guess he would have been more observant to my presence as well as my now-partially-hidden striking fiery bike. I waited there for a while, trying to win a staring completion against the blank ground. Then I remembered I had to confront Mother and try to persuade her to give up again.
As it turns out, you can never get used to being abandoned. Mother had left without telling me anything and Ranveer had asked me to go into hiding. So I left my things by her place as a gift and went on my way like an aimless nomad. But it was worth being surprised over when I smiled at my deserted mobile and imagined her happy dance on getting a gift from me.
Later on, sitting on the cliff and playing my mouth organ into the night, I thought back to a comment by some random stupid stranger in our neighborhood, “Your condition right now is like a dog, so why don’t you try coming to terms with this fact?” Then, I had hit him across the mouth until his lips bled. But now that I think about it seriously, it was true after all. People like dogs based on their breeds, surroundings and owners. They treat high class dogs royally as compared to trashing the street dogs, even if they cannot tell one dog from the other! People just kick the street dogs away even though they feed them stale bread in a burst of generosity. But they feel irritated with the dog’s faithfulness when it follows them. The people in this planet have a crazy way of thinking without logic! And I have a crazier way of craving for these crazy people’s affection. I looked down at the piece of cloth around my hand which was keeping my bleeding wound company and wondered how my shiny new brother was doing in his palace…
Copyright to Samm